One of the best things you can do for the health of your lake or pond is to protect the edge.  Protect The Edge.  That should be a bumper sticker.  If you have grass or dirt going down to water, that’s a bad thing.  Even worse if it’s on a slope.  With every rain, dirt and one of its natural components, phosphorus, gets washed into the water where it can build up and eventually cause algae blooms.  More bad.  I hate to be negative but when property owners don’t seem to notice or care about runoff from their land, it’s not just themselves who might suffer the consequences.  Everyone does.

Luckily the Knox-Lincoln County Soil and Water Conservation District is here to help.  They have a wonderful plant sale every spring with lots of choices of plants appropriate for water edge zones, also known as buffers.  And for good reason.  Planting a variety of shrubs, perennials, and ground covers close to the water not only slows down any rain water run off, but more quickly and efficiently absorbs it as well.  Grass roots are insufficient to do that job well.  If that isn’t enough to get you planting, it also makes a much more interesting and pretty sight than the plain ole grass, helps feed beneficial insects of all kinds, encourages birdlife to come and forage on those insects, and even helps give aquatic insects whose adult forms need places to perch and hunt more habitat to do so.  Win-win-win-win-win!

So please log on to the Soil and Water website and look at the plant offerings.  Order early for the best selection.  If you need help, Hildy and Rebecca are knowledgeable  plant people who can give you advice.  You can reach them at 596-2040, or email Think of the benefit to our precious water resources and make the commitment to Protect the Edge, for now and into the future.